second wind pottery + new mexico
Owning a small business is not a task for the faint of heart. And owning an amazingly successful and wildly creative business is something to truly be admired.
Adam and I headed south to visit Jill & Tony in their Santa Fe home and I was eager to throw pots for the first time in Jill's adobe-style studio. J & T's home is a collection of desert tones, old family photos, southwest patterns and Jill's crafted pottery. The feeling in their home reflects very simply... a deep thoughtfulness of creativity and also the comfort of simply coming home... from the hand-painted kitchen cabinets to the southwest blankets thrown over deep tan furniture to the breezy open windows with the curtains dancing through the afternoon.
With the New Mexico afternoon heat setting in, Jill and I headed into her sunlit studio. While Jill explained the many types of clays and learnings she's encountered since moving to New Mexico (they previously lived in Pennsylvania on a sweeping, green farm where Jill had her former studio), I was simultaneously admiring all the textures and the setup of the studio. This was someone who had worked her career from the ground-up so every tool had it's purpose. As Jill prepped the clay, she explained the framed photo on the wall of her professor that had swayed her into joining class one day and at the time, began her journey to here.
Jill worked seamlessly around the studio, a seasoned artist... prepping her setup, explaining to "feel" the clay versus overthinking, centering the clay, reminiscing on past memories of teaching students... all while the wheel spun at a distinct rhythm that gave the studio a certain hum. Her finished product: a small vase that would later be designed, glazed, placed in a kiln and stamped with her signature.
After I tried (and fumbled through the process...), I thought of the depth of Jill's career. How many pots she's made over the years and how many of those pots are in the homes of others... whether being admired as a vase, or served dinner on crafted plates and bowls, or mornings that people have drank their coffee in mugs made by her hands. It's incredible to think how far and wide her work has reached. And that is something to truly be admired...